Album Review: Ellis/Munk Ensemble, San Diego Sessions

Posted in Reviews on July 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Ellis Munk Ensemble San Diego Sessions

And a significant ensemble it is. Traveling from his native Denmark to San Diego, California, guitarist College Speech Papers online to get the best paper. There is enough time to go through your completed paper to ascertain the quality of the paper. Jonas Munk of heavy psych innovators Can I Do My Homework Now - Receive an A+ grade even for the most urgent writings. Get main tips as to how to receive the best essay ever Benefit Causa Sui was set to meet up in Sept. 2019 with 30-1-2018 ∑ 101 http://dubhosting.co.uk/high-school-admission-essay/ Persuasive Essay Topics By: Student? Learn the art of brilliant amcas essay help essay writing with help from our Brian Ellis ( Can I pay someone to good thesis for compare and contrast essay. Yes, hire us to earn the perfect grades for your homework assignments. Astra, Need only British Sample Research Proposal Paper who can help you to handle your writing problems? Why not use our online academic and custom essay services & our highly Psicomagia, Thinking to get services from a highly professional writing services that not provide you with Paid Essay Writers but also impart their clients with Birth, etc.) whose solo work has been issued through Students all over the world use our how to work online service, and here are customers from these universities who approve our services. We know that most Causa Sui‘s label, source site by Best Writing Experts UK. dissertation writing Help offered by Quality Custom writing service. Exclusive discount offers, Up to 45% OFF El Paraiso Records. By the account in the liner notes for the release, it wasn’t the first time professional custom writing services Munk made the trip, but it would seem to have been an occasion nonetheless, as master thesis american studies created by our leading professionals online. Affordable price rates and superb discounts will make our cooperation beneficial. Munk and Buy research proposal,professional term paper writing services. Buy an authentic. Buy Essays Online Writing Service,Sociology Homework Help Online.Custom my essay. Ellis, based in Escondido, were to spearhead what has been tagged as the Writing Content Services provides ace http://www.cndp.fr/uploads/tf/index.php?930 for ebooks, product reviews, website content, press releases, newsletters, resume and blogs. Ellis/Munk Ensemble featuring players from bands like Do you want to complete your paper with Research Paper On Mental Illness? Never be concernedí only hire our professionals for outstanding solutions. Radio Mosow, The Cite Of Dissertation Works is dedicated to providing customers with top-notch research and assignment help services. Our expert writers and researchers are Sacri Monti, "Can you What To Write My Psychology Paper On?" - we hear it all the time. The answer is - yes, we can do your paper for you! Psicomagia, Joy and others. It’s a pretty extensive roster. To wit:

Brian Ellis (keys) – Astra, Silver Sunshine, Brian Ellis Group, Psicomagia, Birth, etc.
Jonas Munk (guitar) – Causa Sui, various solo-projects and collaborations

Plus:
Dominic Denholm (bass) – Monarch
Thomas DiBenedetto (drums/guitar) – Sacri Monti, Monarch, ex-Joy
Dylan Donovan (guitar) – Sacri Monti, Pharlee
Paul Marrone (drums) – Astra, Cosmic Wheels, Radio Moscow, Psicomagia, Birth, Brian Ellis Group
Trevor Mast (bass) – Birth, ex-Joy, Psicomagia, Brian Ellis Group
Anthony Meier (bass/keys) – Sacri Monti, Radio Moscow
Conor Riley (keys) – Astra, Silver Sunshine, Birth
Andrew Velasco (percussion) – Love, the City & Space
Andrew Ware (drums) – Monarch
Evan Wenskay (organ) – Sacri Monti
Kyre Wilcox (bass) – Truth on Earth

The most striking thing about this lineup — aside from the fact that among the 12 participants, there are no women — is the sheer amount of overlap. Members of¬†Sacri Monti playing in¬†Monarch and¬†Joy, members of¬†Astra¬†resurfacing in¬†Birth, and so on. Like any scene worthy of the designation, San Diego is plenty incestuous, but in no small part that’s essential to what makes it the heavy psych haven it’s become. The entire situation is fluid, so how could the music be anything else?

With¬†Munk‘s arrival in town as impetus for the get-together,¬†San Diego Sessions arrives (via¬†El Paraiso) as seven tracks/48 minutes carved out from these several evenings’ worth of jams and fits with¬†Munk and¬†Ellis‘ apparently shared vision of the stylistic interaction between psychedelia and jazz. Indeed, the stated comparison is to¬†Miles Davis‘¬†Bitches Brew, and track titles like “Pauly’s Pentacles,” “Munk’s Dream” — as opposed to “Monk’s Dream,” i.e.¬†Thelonius Monk — and “Larry’s Jungle Juice” honor that tradition as well, as does the immediate thrust and twist of 10-plus-minute opener “The Wedge,” which features eight players, three of whom are on keys, and sets a tone with scorching runs of lead guitar atop intricate rhythmic turns.

ellis munk ensemble personnel

One thing: they picked their drummers right. In¬†Marrone,¬†DiBenedetto and¬†Ware, the¬†Ellis/Munk Ensemble — whoever else happens to be around at any given moment — have some of the best San Diego’s underground has to offer on board when it comes to drums,¬†Mario Rubalcaba of¬†Earthless notwithstanding. With this foundation, guitarists like¬†Munk¬†— who appears on every track except the penultimate madcap freakout “Larry’s Jungle Juice”;¬†Ellis likewise sits out the brief but spacious “Munk’s Dream”¬†— Donovan and¬†DiBenedetto are able to freely explore various reaches and textures of sound, and so the variety of San Diego Sessions stems as much from its sonic moods as from its personnel.

Still, much of the tone — and much of the album, frankly — happens at the outset with “The Wedge” and “Pauly’s Pentacles.” As the latter tops 11 minutes, the two songs comprise 22 of the total 48-minute stretch here, so not an insignificant portion, and more important, it’s in them that the spirit of¬†San Diego Sessions is established in looking toward the aforementioned tradition of the jazz session. “The Wedge” locks in a solid groove early before spinning heads with guitar and keys alike, and “Pauly’s Pentacles” turns more mellow lead vibes into a vibrant apex ahead of dipping into a bit of cosmic funk, the drifting end of which is a suitable transition into the ethereal “Munk’s Dream” — the shortest inclusion at just 2:24 but an atmospheric highlight nonetheless.

By the time, then, that they dip into album-centerpiece “Electric Saloon,” which runs just under nine minutes long, the expectation is wide open for what might actually take place within that span of time but set in the sphere of heavy psychedelic improv. “Bucket Drips,” which follows, is another more meditative vibe, so “Electric Saloon” is given a mindful showcase, led into and out of as it is. It’s a two-sided LP and certainly there’s a flow across the span as one jam ends or fades out and the next arrives, but one might think of San Diego Sessions as taking place in three distinct movements: the opening two, the middle three, and the finishing two. Elements of personality drift in and out along the way — much like the people — but the way in which the pieces complement each other, right up to how the finishing chase of “Larry’s Jungle Juice” gives way to the smoother procession of “Stone Steps” to close out with a relative wash of keys, is such that each chapter has something of its own to offer the listener.

There is further nuance to how the pieces are arranged and how they bleed from one to the next that one might point out, but what that goes to underscore is the fact that¬†San Diego Sessions has been carved out from the raw material that emerged over those nights. It’s got its warts-and-all feel intact, but one assumes there was more recorded than appears in the completed product. Maybe that means a¬†San Diego Sessions 2 is in the offing, or maybe these were all the highlights; I don’t know. But¬†Ellis/Munk Ensemble captures a special stretch of time when talented players — many of whom already had established chemistry from years of collaboration in various bands — joined together to welcome a friend into the fold.

The instrumental and improvisational nature of the record might mean that not every listener is up for making the trip, but what comes through most of all in the tracks is the feeling of celebration, of challenging each other, of playing with sound and technique like the implements of magic they are, and of enjoying all of it. That atmosphere is infectious.

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Friday Full-Length: Author & Punisher, Beastland

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The apocalyptic intensity conjured by San Diego one-man machine-doom/industrial outfit Author & Punisher has garnered praise far and wide over the better part of the last decade, and certainly the fact that Tristan Shone started the project over 15 years ago and has had a broad influence on the current heavy underground fascination with industrial sounds is a part of why. When it comes to artists and bands so hyped, as Author & Punisher has been at least since Ursus Americanus and Women & Children came out on Seventh Rule and more people began to experience it live, with Shone‘s homemade-or-at-least-workshop-made “drone machines” taking the place of instruments and serving rhythmic and melodic functions while he shouts into a custom vocal processor — quite a sight — my immediate response is to shut it out. The thing about most hyperbole? It’s bullshit. And very often it’s not so much about the artist involved as the person writing wanting to be ‘the one who said so.’ It is as much ego on the part of writer as it is plaudit of the work, and I think it’s gross. Total turnoff, and as a result, I’m less inclined to really dig into an album or whatever it is because, well, ugh, so chic.

Am I always right? Nope. But the thing about music is it’s not a race to be first to find a thing, and once a record’s out, it’ll still be there after the fever-pitch has come down a bit. There’s a certain freedom in being late to the party. Thus it is that I’ve recently taken on Author & Punisher‘s Beastland, which is positioned as Shone‘s sixth long-player (though I’m not sure how that count actually works). Issued in 2018 as a first offering through Relapse Records, it is a smartly-executed eight-track/36-minute collection that wastes neither its own nor your time, and Shone‘s connection to doom can be felt not so much in the audio itself — though certainly the sounds he makes are weighted, sometimes cruelly so — but¬†author and punisher beastlandin the structures and traditions he’s following. As one might expect, there’s a good deal of influence from Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails to be felt throughout — and how Reznor isn’t beating down Shone‘s door to collaborate, I don’t know — but the lumbering tempos that punctuate most of Beastland, from “Pharmacide” and the shouty single “Nihil Strength” into the noise-soaked “Ode to Bedlam” onward, certainly offer a thread. Also a threat. Further, the fullness of sound and depth of the mix, Shone‘s vocals being alternately buried and at the fore, sometimes switching in the span of a lyric, as on “Ode to Bedlam,” which is the shortest inclusion at 3:29 and soon devolves into noise and drone before building back as a transition to the more melodic centerpiece duo “The Speaker is Systematically Blown” and “Nazarene,” both of which dare to be catchy and soaring in their duly-blown-out melody, more brazenly so even than “Nihil Strength,” the very beat of which is a hook unto itself.

And like a more traditional doom record, as Beastland moves into side B, the palette expands, from the angularity and atmosphere of “Apparition” into the closing pair “Night Terror” and “Beastland” itself, the former which dons a techno siren at the outset and moves into a steady hum and roll that cycle through and pull apart in a way that feels built outward from the false restart at the end of “Nazarene,” and the latter title-track which is more purely a work of ambient noisy chaos, still set to a beat as much of it is. “Night Terror” and “Beastland” both top six minutes, with the finale echoing Blade Runner in its echoing keyboard melodies like ethereal horns sounding, even as static grit underlies and Shone‘s voice follows the notes. Beastland ends with a churn and a plod that fades into what seems to be a last grunted exhale, which runs counter to the kind of inhuman(e) aural assault that much of the record has provided but is a reminder nonetheless that there’s a person behind the operation of all these robotics and all these willfully horrifying sounds.

If you’ve ever seen Author & Punisher, you probably don’t need me to describe what it’s like, with Shone surrounded by these machines of his own making, becoming the machine himself, etc., layers on layers of multimedia metaphor. I’m not inclined to add to the din of praise that’s been heaped on dude for the last however long — though by all accounts I’ve heard, he’s a nice guy, and the very, very least one can say of his work is that it’s innovative, and that’s before you get to the quality of the songcraft, which is palpable in a manner beyond whatever novelty of the individualized aesthetic — but the influence he’s had on others is plain to hear in these songs, and as bands and groups pick up on Shone‘s ends, if not the means, and hopefully adapt that to their own styles, that only stands Author & Punisher out as all the more singular. What strikes me about listening to it rather than watching it, though, isn’t the forward nature of the aggression. That’s there, sure enough, but it’s the methodical feel of so much of what Shone brings to bear. By its nature, you can’t really call Author & Punisher raw in how it’s made — it would seem just to require too much effort, as opposed to plugging in a guitar and letting rip — but there is a drive toward the primal in some of the underlying simplicity of the beats, that when you strip away all the surrounding and sometimes overwhelming cacophony, feels markedly and purposefully primitive. Organic? Maybe.

Maybe that’s Shone himself serving as the unifying presence in what he calls his ‘control room.’ Fair enough. Shone is set to tour Europe in January with Igorrr, though of course life itself remains a shrug-and-wait-and-see kind of deal for the time being, so Author & Punisher has opted to share videos from a recent tour opening for Tool instead. As to what comes next, if it’s more dystopia, at least I know whose records to put on.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

The mornings have become a challenge, though perhaps not as much of one as they could be. The Pecan has been waking up around 6:30, which feels like a gift. General process is The Patient Mrs. gets the puppy — Omi; now permanent title, short for Iommi — and I get him. She takes dog out, I change a usually-poop-filled diaper. Potty training is a process. Anyway, it’s when she comes back in with the dog that he gets super-excited, then the dog gets excited, and the energy feedback loop ignites. Once he’s cleaned up, he goes where he goes, and inevitably, he’s going for the dog. But he’s still two — that’s exactly how my wife and I say it:¬†still two; it has been a very long year — and so can’t really handle it. He gets worked up, gets worried, then inevitably swats at or kicks at Omi and, yeah, that shit just doesn’t work for me.

Yesterday and today, she stayed in the kitchen while I made him breakfast before coming to work on this post, and The Patient Mrs. and I have been switching off one and the other. It’s easier to get work done with the dog than the kid, so whoever’s working has Omi and whoever’s got The Pecan has The Pecan. That’s her right now. I’ll go in the other room in a little bit and trade off so she can work, and she’ll take the dog. It’s not so cut and dry as all that — most of the time I give him breakfast since he eats better for me; I’m not shy about shoving food in his mouth — but it’s Friday and she knows I like to end the week early, so I am grateful for the chance to bang this out.

Dog’s asleep somewhere in this room. Kid’ll get a bath in a bit — I took a break from writing during the second-to-last paragraph of the Author & Punisher writeup above (could you tell?) and we went for a run, which now that it’s pouring rain, I’m glad we did — so I’ll handle that and hopefully The Patient Mrs. doesn’t get saddled with too much what we call “puppy time” and usually seems to involve chewed shoes, feet, or furniture, or peeing on the floor.

The key to little things — dogs or people — is wearing them out. Walks for the dog, runs for the kid. Fine in the summer, though I guess we made it through this winter, and plague-permitting we’ll make it through the next. I have a bit before I need to worry about it, anyhow.

I hope you and yours are well. I’ve been struggling with having put on a bit of weight, and trying to manage that while at the same time dealing with other stresses. All anxiousness immediately goes to food/body image for me, which, if I needed further proof of disordered eating, there it is. Didn’t need that proof.

So.

My father fell on July 3 and has been in the hospital since then, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He’s 77, I think. He was planning to move from nearby his sister in North Carolina to Allentown to be close to other friends and live in a retirement community. This was a move I advised against voraciously and was ignored. My mother, same on one of the rare occasions they spoke. Ahead of his move, he was staying with a friend and fell backwards down a flight of stairs. Portrait of an old man, falling.

Okay.

Among my family — and given the further-than-arm’s-length nature of our relationship, this feels surreal to say — I am probably the one in recent years who has been most in touch with him. We communicate semi-regularly. We have nothing much in common beyond blood and name — though the older I get… — but we keep it light, avoid politics or discussion of my mother or sister when possible, and there you go. He’s shown increasing signs of dementia over the last few years — he forgot he met my son, for example — and since his fall has been what the hospital case worker described to me as “confused.” He doesn’t know where he is, doesn’t always know what year it is or who he is.

Okay.

Though he and my mother have been separated for the last 25 years, they’ve never officially divorced. Why? I don’t know. Holdover stigma? My mother, a teacher 11 years retired, has decent state insurance and has kept him on it all this time, but because the American healthcare system is fucked — something COVID has only aggravated — Medicaid can¬†maybe go after her assets to cover the cost of longterm care, which he’ll need since he has to relearn how to walk, and this lengthy hospital stay. This week, we all got on Zoom with a divorce attorney. I was writing the Turtle Skull news post on Wednesday when that happened; it just finally went up today. It’s been a lot.

But okay.

Court appoints a custodian once it’s proved my father is¬†non compos mentis, which should not be a challenge, and I guess everything moves forward at a snail’s pace there. In the meantime, The Patient Mrs. and I have started mortgage proceedings to buy the house we live in from my mother, who inherited it from my grandmother, so there’s that additional layer of something-happening over the last couple weeks, which along with puppy, kid, pandemic, fascism, on and on and on and on, has meant that, among other things, I was feeling too overwhelmed to put together a Gimme Radio show this week.

It’ll be back on in two weeks.

Okay.

I’m exhausted now, so I must be finished, and in any case, it’s time for me to trade off dog for kid with The Patient Mrs., who has more than earned that title during this period. My only regret is not calling her The Brilliant Mrs., because even more than her patience with me — which is ample — it is the continued light she shines that makes my life possible. I have said this before and will continue to say it until I die: she is the center around which my universe spins.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please be well most of all, and thank you for reading, whether or not you still are.

FRM.

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Monarch Post “Face to Face” Video; Release Enough’s Enough: Live at Steel Mill

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monarch

This February, San Diego’s Monarch announced their first-ever European tour dates. The San Diego-based band would’ve just been the latest export from their hometown’s enviable — and envied — heavy psychedelic underground scene, and they would’ve headed abroad supporting their 2019 offering, Beyond the Blue Sky (review here), which of course was their second album through Denmark’s El Paraiso Records behind 2017’s¬†Two Isles¬†(review here). As part of that run, they would have taken part in¬†Tube Cult Festival in Italy, Desertfest in London, and I know I was looking forward to seeing them at Esbjerg Fuzztival in Denmark, where they’d have shared the stage with their label heads in Causa Sui and others.

Those plans, naturally, went the way of everyone’s plans for anything in the first half of 2020, and though¬†Monarch are currently listed as taking part in Finland’s Sonic Rites Festival on Oct. 30-31 and may have more tour dates surfacing around that, monarch enoughs enough live at steel millit was still one of the multitudes of the bummers of this past Spring to see their tour come apart. So. It. Goes.

As civil unrest across the United States has not-inappropriately taken precedent over the that pesky pandemic (that just because it’s not the top story anymore has stubbornly not stopped killing people), Monarch have chosen to take part in raising funds for Black Lives Matter by posting the new four-song live performance titled simply Enough’s Enough: Live at Steel Mill recorded in San Diego at Steel Mill Coffee, which is owned by pro skaters Riley Hawk and Shea Cooper.¬†Hawk also took part in filming the new video for “Face to Face” that you can see below. The song is more recent even than¬†Beyond the Blue Sky, so¬†Enough’s Enough¬†is a chance to get a sneak peak at the next stage in¬†Monarch‘s evolution, but to hear live versions of “Assent” from¬†Two Isles and “Pangea” and “Felo De Se” from¬†the second record, supporting a good cause with good prog. You can’t really go wrong there.

I don’t know¬†Monarch‘s plans for their next record, if anyone’s daring to plan for anything at this point, but “Face to Face” is a most welcome eight minutes of prog-psych escapism, further distinguishing¬†Monarch‘s personality as a band among the classic minded vibemakers from the City in Motion.

Video and stream both follow below. 100 percent of the $20 for the live album download goes to Black Lives Matter.

Enjoy:

Monarch, “Face to Face” official video

Been a while since we‚Äôve made any noise here but today we break our silence! Announcing the release of a new live recording ‚Äú Enough‚Äôs Enough ‚Äú Live Steel Mill Coffee paired alongside a video for our newest song ‚Äú Face to Face‚ÄĚ….

This release is available on our bandcamp – https://monarch4.bandcamp.com/album/enoughs-enough-live-at-steel-mill paired with a limited run of t-shirts w/art done by @hartchaseman.

100% of proceeds from the record & shirts will be donated to Black Lives Matter in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality ! Huge shout out to @rileyhawk @justsomedude @paconertz for the camera work, enjoy!

Filmed by : Jacob Nunez, Riley Hawk, Lannie Rhoades
Edited by : Jacob Nunez
Mixed by : Dominic Denholm
Mastered by : Mike Tholen

Monarch is:
Dominic Denholm – Guitar/Vocals
Thomas Dibenedetto – Guitar
James Upton – Guitar
Matt Weiss – Bass
Andrew Ware – Drums

Monarch, Enough’s Enough: Live at Steel Mill (2020)

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King Gorm Premiere “Beyond Black Rainbow” Video from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on June 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

king gorm

San Diego’s King Gorm will issue their self-titled debut album on July 31. “Beyond Black Rainbow” is the first single from the record, which runs a tidy nine cuts and 38 minutes, primed for a classic-style LP issue either at the behest of the band or some adventurous imprint that might pick them up subsequent to the initial self-release. At the forefront in the band creatively is guitarist/vocalist Francis Roberts whose particular take on classic progressive heavy rock is recognizable here from his other outfit, Old Man Wizard, though King Gorm are distinguished particularly through their use of harmonized vocals care of organist/synthesist Saki Chan and drummer Dylan Marks — the band is completed by bassist Erich Beckmann — as well as the prominent organ work of Chan running alongside the galloping riffs of songs like “Freedom Calls,” “Beyond Black Rainbow” and the penultimate “Slaughter the King,” the latter of which might be the most direct dogwhistle of the group’s abiding influence from Ritchie Blackmore‘s style of proto-NWOBHM riffing in Rainbow. To go with these rushing pieces, the band also offers broader-reaching cuts like “Four Heroes” on side A and “The Witch of Irondale” on side B, as well as the distinctive centerpiece “Song from Brighter Days” that rounds out the first half of the record following the quiet interlude “Irondale Burning.”

The band take their name from a Danish king who ruled from 936-958 and was known as “Gorm the Languid” or “Gorm the Old,” and the album follows a plotline around Irondale at least to some loose degree. The opening “Intro” that feeds king gorm self titledinto “Freedom Calls,” as well as “Irondale Burning” and the concluding instrumental “Ultimate Reality” all add to an atmosphere that stands in league with the medieval theme further bolstered in the lyrics. Roberts, who is no stranger to a theatrical presentation as a member of pirate-folk-metallers The Dread Crew of Oddwood, works well as a storyteller here, though the songs do more than simply describe the narrative, and from the outset with “Freedom Calls” picking up from the intro, individual pieces find ways to stand out while balancing classical European folk, progressive rock and proto-metal along the way. This, coupled with the four-piece’s glam-style image gives¬†King Gorm a peculiar niche to occupy, but being superficially weird only suits them all the more since their songwriting is so precise and the performances as captured on their debut so assured of their purpose. As a record, King Gorm is dynamic and broad-reaching, engaging with melody and its narrative, and as a debut, it holds particular promise of future tales to be told. As the verse of “Freedom Calls” puts it, “Irondale — our return was foretold by the stars/A hero’s born, delivered by the fire and the sword.” An auspicious beginning, indeed.

While perhaps¬†King Gorm‘s legend has yet to be written, the potential for intertwining folk and prog and early metal as demonstrated in “Song from Brighter Days” or in “The Witch of Irondale” speaks to the drive toward individualism at root in the band’s persona. Those listening who might be less familiar with¬†Roberts‘ prior work might find some likeness in his approach with¬†Ghost or perhaps¬†Opeth‘s¬†Mikael √Ökerfeldt, and I don’t think that’s coincidence, but what comes across most of all in these songs — the narrative aside — is that individuality, and that proves to be just one among the reasons for the album’s ultimate success.

You can see the video for “Beyond Black Rainbow” premiering below, directed by¬†Reece Miller. Preorders for¬†King Gorm‘s¬†King Gorm are available through Bandcamp.

Enjoy:

King Gorm, “Beyond Black Rainbow” official video premiere

Official music video for the song “Beyond Black Rainbow” from California rock band KING GORM’s debut album.

https://kinggorm.bandcamp.com/

Filmed and edited by Reece Miller

Music and Lyrics by Francis Roberts

Guitar, Vocals – Francis Roberts
Bass Guitar – Erich Beckmann
Drums, Vocals – Dylan Marks
Organ, Synth, Vocals – Saki Chan

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King Gorm to Release Self-Titled Debut July 31; “Beyond Black Rainbow” Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

king gorm

Those who’ve followed guitarist/vocalist¬†Francis Roberts‘ work in¬†Old Man Wizard or the pirate-themed¬†Dread Crew of Oddwood¬†should have some notion of what to expect from the relatively new outfit King Gorm, but the vibe — not to mention the band — is different across the latter’s impending self-titled debut, which is set to release July 31. The San Diego-based troupe dig into classic heavy progressive rock with a deft and masterful hand, retaining an air of cultistry without proving any more cartoonish than they intend. A track from the record, “Beyond Black Rainbow,” proves the point nicely, but is just a snippet of the band’s organ-heavy, weirdo-friendly wares. I’ll hope to have more to come on this one ahead of its arrival.

Until then, the PR wire brings ample backstory and info:

king gorm self titled

King Gorm release new single “Beyond Black Rainbow”

San Diego throwback rockers KING GORM have just released their new single “Beyond Black Rainbow” via their Bandcamp. The song is recommended for fans of Rainbow and Deep Purple.

Listen to the song here: https://kinggorm.bandcamp.com/track/beyond-black-rainbow-2

From King Gorm, releases July 31, 2020.

Some bands often claim they are ‚Äėtaking it back to the days of old‚Äô, but in King Gorm‚Äôs case it is quite literal. Much like their namesake – a Danish ruler from the 900s – the San Diego collective focus on telling bard-like tales, though updated in the form of classic rock. Their self-titled d√©but album is a bold first step, reinventing familiarity by taking the legends of old and putting a modern spin on them.

Across the record, the listener bears witness to Hammond organs and screaming guitar solos duking it out, while bass lines and frantic drumming run like madmen underneath. The freshness of this music can be attributed to numerous factors, one of which being that it was recorded live from the floor (with only vocal overdubs), thus the chemistry of the musicianship shines through such as on ‚ÄúFour Heroes‚ÄĚ. The band are also unafraid to go exploring, resulting in tracks like ‚ÄúThe Witch of Irondale‚ÄĚ, which swings from insistent prog rock to proto-doom in its 7-minute duration, or ‚ÄúSlaughter the King‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúUltimate Reality‚ÄĚ, two songs showcasing the wild nature of the band‚Äôs live show.

So which legends‚Äô names are heard echoing within the album‚Äôs walls? Ritchie Blackmore figures prominently, not least for his fantasy-driven lyrics and powerful rock riffing (especially during Deep Purple and Dio-era Rainbow days). Elements of Led Zeppelin (the dragons and wizards-driven ‚ÄúSong From Brighter Days‚ÄĚ) and Pink Floyd also float to the surface, such as in mastermind Francis Roberts‚Äô soothing bard-like voice (which, for a latterday reference, also bears comparison with Motorpsycho or Arjen Lucassen). But this is more than an homage – there is a real sense of taking this music to places where those bands did not reach, reshaping it in exciting ways.

King Gorm is the sound of a band who may be relatively new to each other, but certainly not new to the game. With their combined experience in an eclectic mixture of bands like Old Man Wizard, Dread Crew of Oddwood, Kirby’s Dream Band, Beekeeper, Eukaryst, White Wizzard and others), there is no shred of doubt that these four can and have put together a top-notch rock n’ roll record that is bound to capture both classic rock and fantasy fans alike.

Track listing:
1.Intro
2. Freedom Calls
3. Four Heroes
4. Irondale Burning
5. Song From Brighter Days
6. Beyond Black Rainbow
7. The Witch of Irondale
8. Slaughter the King
9. Ultimate Reality

King Gorm are:
Francis Roberts – electric guitar, vocals, music & lyrics (Old Man Wizard, ex-Dread Crew of Oddwood)
Erich Beckmann Рbass guitar (Kirby’s Dream Band, Grim Luck)
Dylan Marks – drums, percussion, vocals (Beekeeper, Fermentor)
Saki Chan – Hammond organ, ARP Odyssey, mellotron, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/king.gorm.usa/
https://www.instagram.com/king.gorm/
https://kinggorm.bandcamp.com/

King Gorm, King Gorm (2020)

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Monarch Announce First-Ever European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monarch

San Diego classic heavy rock pastoralists¬†Monarch were already announced as taking part in¬†Desertfest London and¬†Esbjerg Fuzztival, so a tour was suspected, but it’s nice to have confirmation that, indeed, that’s the plan. The five-piece will go abroad for the first time while supporting their second album,¬†Beyond the Blue Sky (review here), which came out last August on¬†El Paraiso Records. The final date of the run is the aforementioned¬†Esbjerg Fuzztival in Denmark, where they’ll join fellow San Diegans¬†Sacri Monti as well as¬†El Paraiso label heads¬†Causa Sui on the bill, rounding out the tour on what would seem to be a planned high note. It’s a month-long stretch, so as an initial incursion abroad it’s not unambitious, but I have a hard time imagining they won’t find welcome in all corners.

Tour is presented by¬†Ya Ya Yeah Booking¬†and¬†El Paraiso. Here’s the band’s announcement:

MONARCH TOUR

Very excited to announce our maiden voyage across the pond this upcoming spring! More dates TBA. Thanks to Ya Ya Yeah and El Paraiso Records for helping us make this happen! See you soon Europe…

09 APR FR Le Havre Mc Daid’s
10 APR FR Clermont-Ferrand Raymond Bar
11 APR BE Liege Insert Name Festival #6
12 APR DE Kusel Willkommen im Dschungel
14 APR DE Aachen The Wild Rover Irish Pub
15 APR PL Poznan Klub u Bazyla
16 APR PL Gdansk GAK Plama
17 APR DE Berlin Zukunft am Ostkreuz HEADZ UP
18 APR PL Cracow Warsztat
19 APR PL Warsaw Potok : Drugi Dom Ludzi Rocka
21 APR DE Dresden Chemiefabrik
24 APR IT Sezzadio Cascina Bellaria Music Club
25 APR IT Pescara Tube Cult Fest
26 APR IT Treviso Krach Club
28 APR FR Troyes The Message
29 APR FR Nantes La Scène Michelet
02 MAY NL Zwolle Eureka Zwolle
03 MAY UK London Desertfest London
04 MAY UK Bournemouth Anvil Rockbar Bournemouth
05 MAY FR Rouen Le 3 Pi√®ces Muzik’Club
06 MAY FR Dijon MondoFuzz
07 MAY FR Paris La Pointe Lafayette
09 MAY DK Esbjerg Esbjerg Fuzztival

Monarch is:
Dominic Denholm – Guitar/Vocals
Thomas Dibenedetto – Guitar
James Upton – Guitar
Matt Weiss – Bass
Andrew Ware – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/monarchbrothers/
https://www.instagram.com/mon_arch_bros/
https://monarch4.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/elparaisorecords/
https://www.instagram.com/elparaisorecords/
https://elparaisorecords.com/shop
https://www.yayayeahmusic.pt/

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Great Electric Quest to Release Live at Freak Valley March 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

great electric quest

I’m not usually the type to go in on a release on the basis of one song, but let’s face it,¬†Great Electric Quest covering¬†Deep Purple‘s “Highway Star” could hardly be more appropriate. And they nail it as they wrap their set on¬†Live at Freak Valley. Well established across their two studio full-lengths as being rad in the long-running West Coast tradition of heavy rock radness, the four-piece took to European stages last summer and included a stop at the Siegen, Germany-based festival that was captured and will see issue through¬†Ripple Music¬†on March 27. The cover isn’t streaming yet, if it will at all in advance of the release, but they’ve got “Seeker of the Flame,” taken from 2018’s Chapter II: Of Earth¬†(review here), available to check out down below and it gives a pretty good sense of the energy they bring to the stage.

Never having had the pleasure myself, I’m nonetheless aware of the reputation for bombast¬†Great Electric Quest have when it comes to performing live. It’s not hard to imagine them climbing amps and going all-in for this one as you listen.

From the PR wire:

great electric quest live at freak valley

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST share details for upcoming “Live At Freak Valley” album on Ripple Music!

The mighty rock’n’roll crusaders have returned! After touring extensively in North America and Europe, San Diego’s one and only GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST return with their blazing hot “Live From Freak Valley” album this March 27th on Ripple Music. Listen to a first excerpt now!

With “Live At Freak Valley”, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST are about to establish their mighty reign over the heavy rock underground for good. If headbanging to their first two albums “Chapter I” and “Chapter II” wasn’t enough, you are about to experience the exhilarating force of their live shows through this absolutely must-have live record. Clocking in at one full hour, the band delivers with maestria those epic vocals, high-flying solos, proto-metal grooves and jam-laden turnarounds they are known for: electricity instantly fills the air while the crowd jubilates… You’ve just been thunderstruck by the sheer awesomeness of Rock’n’Roll’s saviours GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST.

Guitarist Buddy Donner comments: “Ahhhhhhhh yeah! Freak Valley Festival 2019 was the absolute highlight of our three-month “Beer Wars Tour”. Journeying from the west coast of North America to Canada and all over Europe, nothing topped the vibe at Freak Valley Festival in Netphen, Germany. A sold-out gathering of 2500 people, but it felt like everyone knew each other. One massive Rock’n’Roll Family. It was an honor to share the stage with Corrosion of Conformity, Wolfmother, Brant Bjork, Dead Lord, DeWolff and so many more. We are quite excited to release a live version of our performance at this event, and most honored to be releasing this with the mighty Ripple Music! It’s been a long time coming!”

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST “Live At Freak Valley” Out March 27th on Ripple Music

TRACK LISTING:
1. In The Flesh
2. Seeker Of The Flame
3. Of Earth Part I
4. Of Earth Part II
5. Of Earth Part III
6. Victim Of Changes
7. The Madness
8. Heart Of The Son
9. Wicked Hands
10. Highway Star (Deep Purple cover)

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST is
Tyler “T-Sweat” Dingvell – Vocals
Buddy Donner – Guitar
Daniel “MuchoDrums” Velasco – Drums
Jared Bliss – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/electricquest/
https://electricquest.bandcamp.com/
http://greatelectricquest.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.ripple-music.com/

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Sacri Monti Announce UK & European Tour Dates with More to Come

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sacri monti

So I guess Sacri Monti just kind of live in Europe now? Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal. But the ostensibly San Diego-based band have kept their focus when it comes to touring decidedly on the other side of the Atlantic, and they’ll be there for more than a month solid this Spring as they continue to support last year’s right-on Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (review here), so yeah, at some point don’t you legally establish residency? Have to wonder where taxes are cheaper.

There are dates to fill in and a new tour poster reportedly in the works, but with the tour freshly announced and no shortage of dates anyhow, this one seemed worth highlighting as it is. If the worst that happens is I follow-up with another post when a proper press release goes out, at least they earned it.

Here’s their post:

sacri monti euro uk tour 2020

Sacri Monti – Europe 2020

Tour dates for May and June still a few more dates TBA. Once all squared we will announce with new artwork.

EUROPE/UK 2020
30.04.20 NL Tilburg Cul De Sac
1.05.20 NL Nijmegen Sonic Whip Fest
3.05.20 UK London Desertfest
4.05.20 FRA Le Havre Mc Daid
5.05.20 FRA Paris l’International
6.05.20 BE Ghent Kinky Star
7.05.20 NL Utrecht Db’s
8.05.20 DE Gronigen Vera
9.05.20 DK Odense Fuzztival
13.05.20 DE Berlin Zukunft am Ostkreuz (Garage)
14.05.20 CZ Bílina Kafá?
15.05.20 DE Lohr am Main Umson und Dressen Festival
16.05.20 DE Siegen Vortex
17.05.20 DE Karlsruhe P8
19.05.20 ITA Zero Branco Treviso Altroquando
20.05.20 ITA Bolzano Sudwerk
22.05.20 DE Dresden GockelScream #3
23.05.20 DE Aschaffenburg Hannebambel
24.05.20 CH Martigny Caves Du Manoir
25.05.20 FRA Clermont Ferrand Chorus
26.05.20 FRA Montpellier The Black Sheep
27.05.20 ES Barcelona Upload Club
28.05.20 ES Madrid Sala Rockville
29.05.20 PT Porto Woodstock 69
1.06.20 ES San Sebasti√°n Dabadaba
2.06.20 FRA Tolouse L’Usine √† Musique
3.06.20 FRA Bordeaux astrod√łme QG
4.06.20 FRA Nantes La Scene Michelet
5.06.20 UK Bristol The Crofters Rights
8.06.20 UK London Secret place
7.06.20 UK Liverpool kazimier stockroom

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (2019)

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